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I don't feel listened to

When you ask for people's input into developing services, it's important to be open, honest, and to build trust.

People using our services gave us a clear message when we were developing this toolkit - they need to know we're listening to what they say.

Taking action as a result of people's involvement and giving feedback is the best way to demonstrate you're listening.

What if I can't take participant feedback on board?

It's not always possible to act on everything people tell you, and most people will understand that.

Letting participants know what is and isn't possible in advance will help to manage expectations.

Sometimes you receive feedback where it’s not possible to make changes. For people to feel listened to, it's important to let them know you've heard what they say. Explain why it's not possible to take action.

Always give feedback to people who took part. Our 'you said, we did' tool can help with this.

Nobody told me what happened afterwards

When we developed this toolkit, some people we talked to mentioned the importance of 'closing the feedback loop'.

This means if you've asked for people's input on a piece of work, you should tell them the outcome of their involvement.

People told us that participating in a project and then feeling their input isn't valued is exceptionally difficult, especially when they've been invited to share their ideas and opinions.

On some occasions, due to the method you used or the number of people who took part, it's not practical to update everyone. This is okay, but be open about it from the start. This will help to maintain realistic expectations when people take part.

If you tell people from the beginning that you need their input but you won't be able to feedback to them, most people will still be willing to participate. It's much more difficult when people are told one thing, and experience something different.

For more information on giving feedback, visit the feedback section of the toolkit.

Will and Nikki's experience

Will and Nikki both have lived experience of mental health problems and have taken part in different involvement activities. In the video below, they talk about when the process wasn't as successful as it could have been.

"Organisations need to learn from mistakes. Being open about things not going as planned and addressing the situation gains a lot of respect."

Top tips for making sure people feel listened to

Place a suggestion box in a prominent place, like a reception area, and have a monthly 'you said, we did' feedback wall.

Anyone who's shared their thoughts can see the results on the wall. This also benefits people who didn't take part, as they can see the changes which came from people's involvement.

You can use a feedback wall after influence and participation activities, too. It shows people what you're doing and how you're using their input.

You can also use our you said, we did downloadable tool to give feedback to participants.

Download the you said, we did tool

Other ways to get involved

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